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30 Year Veteran of The Troy Fire Department Retires From The Rescue Squad

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

The City of Troy’s Father of the Rescue Squad, a.k.a. (The War Wagon) Firefighter Dave Judge, is officially retiring after 30 long years of highly dedicated service to the residents and visitors of the City of Troy.

Dave joined the Troy Fire Department on October 20, 1993, and was appointed to Engine 5, which was located at the old Central Station at 55 State Street until the day it closed. Dave moved from Engine 5 to Engine 2 near RPI for two years before moving down to Engine 1 in Lansingburgh for one year. After spending one year at there, Dave made his final move back to Central Station, where he remained on the rescue squad for his whole career. Dave always had a smile on his face with a very humble attitude, and befriended numerous firefighters throughout the years. One of the most memorable things that Dave had was his helmet that could tell hundreds of stories about traffic accidents, fires, rescues, and more that it has been to.

Firefighter Judge did not have a very quiet career on the city's busiest piece of apparatus. He received numerous unit citations for countless rescues in the city of Troy, including the rescue of a person from a fire on May 14, 1996 at 246 9th Street, a successful reversal of a cardiac arrest on the Captain JP cruise line mid-cruise on June 10, 2010, a water rescue on September 12, 2016, and another water rescue on December 17, 2017. One of the most heroic rescues was FF Judge's rescue of a 15-year-old trapped Troy High Student in the Poestenkill Gorge 150-feet above the ground on April 12, 1999. FF Judge was lowered on a rope dangling over the gorge and successfully performed a high angle rescue of the teenager on the gorge wall. After the rescue, Judge said, “It wasn’t anything special, I was doing my job.” Days after the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001, FF Judge deployed with firefighters from the Troy Fire Department to help with rescue efforts with New York State's Task Force One down at ground zero. 

Members of Dave’s crew stated, “Dave was the leader of the first platoon and was the heartbeat of the fire house, and always kept the old traditions alive in the fire house. Dave is going to be greatly missed by all.”

During his last day at the fire house, dozens of guests, including Dave's family, retired firefighters, and crew members that worked with him, stopped by the station and brought desserts, food, and photos to share some memories. The atmosphere in the fire house was very energetic. FF Judge showed off a year book, newspaper stories, and told old stories of his crews working fires back in the day. FF Judge plans to spend a lot more time with his family, take trips and make memories, and go back to his passion of coaching during his retirement.

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